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brian2258 says: (7 years ago)
Greetings, (Store in Keizer Station, Keizer Oregon)

I would like to start out by telling you how excited I was when I heard guitar center was coming to Keizer. My friends and I had recently started a band, and were looking for new equipment as we all played acoustic at the time. My first trip to Guitar Center I purchased a left handed guitar at a great price. I had the nut on the guitar turned around as I do not swap my strings as most left handers do.

The technician finished restringing my guitar and I took it to the counter to pay for it. Paying for it was my first bad experience, as I was told they needed my email, home address, phone number etc when all I wanted to do was pay and get home to play. Once I got home I found that the stings on my guitar were vibrating at the nut, so back to guitar center I went. The technician fixed the problem, however a week later I ran into the same issue and had to take it back a second time. (I live in South Salem, this isn't a drive up the block.)

During this visit my fiend and I picked out two in stock amp and head units. The sales person retrieved the equipment from the back stock room. I told him we were ready to check out to which he replied, “ok I have to go help this customer really quick I’ll be right back.” ten minutes or so goes by and I see him ringing up a customer at the counter with two other customers behind him. He looks at me and says “oh, I’m sorry do you mind if I help these customers real quick” to which I replied, ‘well I was already in line, if fact I was first.’ Now normally I am a patient customer as I work in Loss Prevention for a large retailer, and understand that customers can overreact in certain situations, but this was getting ridiculous. It took over a half hour from the time I told him I was ready to check out, to the time I was actually checked out.

We get home and realize we forgot to get a few things so we head back to Guitar Center. I’m looking at some merchandise and I turn around to see my fiancé trying to purchase a diet Pepsi at the counter. I can tell she is irritated, so I walk over to see what the issue was. Your cashier explains that he needs her email address and phone number to which I reply “she’s just buying a Pepsi” to which he replies, “there is nothing I can do about it I can’t skip it.” I see that his name badge shows that he is a new employee so I cut him some slack. I tell him there has to be a way to skip it, and that my fiancé is not handing out her information for a Pepsi. The employee calls for some assistance and the issue is resolved. But again, another bad experience.

Some time passes and our band gets booked at a local bar, but realize we need a PA system along with some other equipment which totaled around $800,00. We find a package online and go to the store to see if they have the merchandise in stock to put the kit together. We are greeted by the store manager who tells us he does not have the same speaker stands that come with the kit. We tell him we will just buy it online to which he replies, “you can do that but you can’t return it to the store if there are any issues.” I call the warehouse who explains to me that they encourage buyers to return the merchandise directly to the store. Now I’m really jaded as even the store manager is giving me the wrong information.

I order the merchandise online and pay an extra $28.00 for two day air as our show was in four days. I would like to add that simply placing the order took two days because of an error on the warehouse side. So I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new equipment (no tracking number was provided even though they said they were sending it to my email address) and come the fourth day I have no equipment. I have a show that night and nothing to use. I call the warehouse who explained that they sent it out on Saturday. I ask for the tracking number which they give me but come to find out they sent it out UPS ground. Now I’m really upset and swear to myself I will never spend another dollar at Guitar Center.

I go to uptown music and had to spend two hundred dollars to rent the equipment for our show. Two days later my guitar center equipment arrives which I load up and take back to the store. The manager in pro audio returned the equipment, however, the only thing refunded to my card was the shipping. The manager tells me to give it a couple days and it should sort itself out. It’s been nine days and I had to call my bank to dispute the charges as it still hasn’t been credited back to me.

I have never in my entire life been so dissatisfied with a business. Guitar center is flawed from the ground up, from the sales person who ignores his customer, to the cashier that cant ring up a Pepsi, to the technician that cant properly fix a guitar (its still not right by the way) to the warehouse that can’t correctly ship an order, to the store manager who doesn’t even know the return policies. I promise you that neither myself nor the four other members of the band will ever spend another dime at Guitar Center. Further, and this will be the most damaging, I will be telling everyone in the band scene about my experience. I am going to encourage every last customer I can to spend their money anywhere else but Guitar Center.

Now for a story about how to treat a customer right.

I took my grievance to uptown and was telling the owner about what had happened. He told me that he could put together a kit similar to the one I bought at guitar center but he wouldn’t be able to give it to me at the same price, in fact it was a hundred and seventy dollars more. He told me he was sorry about the price difference but promised me that I would never have an experience like I did at guitar center, and to prove he valued my business , he refunded me the cost of renting the equipment for my show.

Now I realize that losing five customers isn’t going to shut down your store, and neither will word of mouth, but I promise that everyone I know will think twice about shopping in your store.

Keep well,

Brian Rosenberger

Corporate Office
and every employee with an email address.
(Guitar Center)

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